Sunday, January 20, 2008

Still demonizing Iran

McClatchy Newspapers:
At a news conference Sunday, Rear Adm. Gregory Smith said the use of EFPs has returned to "normal levels" after a brief increase in the first weeks of January. He couldn't explain the increase, nor could he say if Iran was behind the delivery of the weapons to Iraq.

Smith, however, said there's evidence that Iran continues to train and support Iraqi Shiite Muslim groups.

"We continue to see a negative influence by Iran," Smith said. "We clearly see their intent of training and financing continues."

Tensions between the Bush administration and Iran remain high. During his Mideast trip this month, President Bush declared, "Iran is a threat," and his administration and the U.S. military have accused Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Quds Force of training and equipping Iraqi Shiite militias that attack U.S. soldiers.

Over the past two months, however, U.S. military officials in Iraq have said, the Iranians have smuggled fewer weapons into Iraq, although the officials have said they aren't sure how to explain the decline.

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